Disney's World Of Adventures: Princess Alliance
Chapter 07 – The Hall of the Spellcasters Guild
One moment, Princess Marianna and the others stood on the balcony of her palace overlooking her kingdom of Hermosa Vista. The next moment, in the blink of an eye, in a bright flash of light, they appeared in a completely different location. The sudden change startled them. Most startled of all was Eugene.
“Where? What? How?” With every question, he shifted his head sporadically in a different direction, evidently dazed and confused. He soon took a deep breath to calm down. “Okay, I have no idea what just happened, but I’m going to assume that the answer to any question I have is going to be ‘magic.’ Am I hot or cold?”
“You’re certainly hot on that one.” Merlin motioned to the room wherein they now resided. “I welcome you all to the Hall of the Spellcasters Guild.”
They stood in a vast circular room with a polished marble floor patterned like a black-and-white chessboard. Around the circumference of the room rose stone pillars, and in-between them stood shelves upon shelves of books and countless other artifacts.
Phillip raised an eyebrow. “The Spellcasters Guild?”
“Yes, yes,” The elderly wizard nodded as he led the six royals further in. “It’s exactly as the name suggests. We are a guild of spellcasters from all over the world. We congregate in this great hall so that we may utilize our combined magical powers to fulfill the greater good. Both you and Aurora already know three of our members.”
No sooner had he said that, three bright lights of red, blue, and green flashed before them, revealing three fairies quite familiar to both Phillip and Aurora.
“Flora! Fauna! Merriweather!” Aurora rushed to greet her fairy friends. “So good to see you all again. I assume you three are friends of Merlin, then?”
Flora curtsied. “Yes, my dear: we are, indeed, esteemed members of the Spellcasters Guild.”
“And that makes us honored compatriots of other magic-wielders like Merlin the Great,” Fauna replied.
“But there’s one spellcaster whose magic surpasses all of ours,” Merriweather replied. “And he is the one who called you all here.”
Marianna raised an eyebrow. “Really? And who might that be?”
“That would be none other than me.”
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The six royals turned to face the booming voice that called to them. Standing behind them was a tall wizard garbed in blue garments. Upon his head, he wore a pointed blue hat embedded with silver stars and moons. His pointed bead was as gray as the long-flowing hair upon his head. With his arms crossed, he gazed at the others with the most solemn stare, and he stood with such composure that immediately commanded respect.
Merlin bowed and the three fairies curtsied as the wizard approached. The royals likewise bowed and curtseyed, for even though they had never met this man before, they could tell from his stature and composure that he was a wise elder most deserving of their respect.
“Royals of noble blood and bond,” he welcomed them with arms outstretched, “I bid you all welcome to the hall of our most esteemed guild. I likewise bid you good tidings for heeding our call to discuss matters most imperative.”
“I wish you good tidings, as well, good sir,” Marianna stood from her curtsey. “I wish I knew your name so that we may greet you properly.”
“My name is Yen Sid, and I am the leader of the Spellcasters Guild.” Yen Sid bowed, and as he rose, held out his hand in a halting gesture. “No need for formal introductions from yourselves. I am already familiar with you all.” He turned to each royal couple and gestured to them as he called them by name. “Princess Marianna and Susanna of the Kingdom of Hermosa Vista. Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip of the Kingdom of Talia. And Princess Rapunzel and Prince Consort Eugene from the Kingdom of Corona.”
“Excuse me,” Susanna raised a finger, “but how did—”
“We know who you are?” Yen Sid nodded with a chuckle as he once more folded his arms. “It is our sworn duty within the guild to remain informed of mortal affairs.” The wizard passed them and motioned for them to follow. “Come, and I will show you.”
Everyone else was about to take one step forward when Yen Sid called out to them.
“Hold! Watch your step.”
The others halted at the most curious sight. Marching in front of them was a single line of brooms—yes, brooms! Each broom stood upright like a person and walked upon their straw ends like feet. Each carried in each hand a bucket of water. As soon as the line passed before them, Yen Sid motioned for the others to continue following him.
“Please excuse our cleaning staff,” the wizard explained. “Today is their workday, and they take their cleaning duties seriously.”
Eugene, like the other royals, craned his head to follow the brooms with his eyes. He leaned over to Rapunzel and, covering his mouth, whispered to her, “That’s not normal.”
Rapunzel leaned toward him and whispered, “No, but they must be good at their job.”
“These brooms were enchanted by my former apprentice,” Yen Sid explained. “Unfortunately, he ended up practicing some of my strongest magic before learning how to properly control it. They are more efficient under me than they were under him. But I digress.”
The wizard led the others to the center of the room. “For hundreds upon hundreds of years, the Spellcasters Guild has gathered magic users from the farthest corners of the world. Here we aim to further the greater good with our magic. Our mission is twofold.”
He directed everyone to look up. Above them was a domed ceiling as black as the night with glowing stars painted upon it, arranged as they would appear in the unclouded evening sky. From the ceiling hung an intrinsic mechanical mobile—an orrery. In its center hung a giant orb glowing as bright as the sun, and surrounding it were several smaller orbs in the shape of planets and moons. Like clockwork, these models revolved around the sun, appearing as they would in the night sky.
“First, we study the heavens to decipher the messages written in the stars, learning the secrets and wisdom they possess.”
Eugene scratched his chin. “So like horoscopes, then? Cool. I happen to be an Aries. So what do the stars say about my future.”
“We do not trifle in mere horoscopes.” Yen Sid cleared his throat. “We take our study of the stars seriously to uncover prophecies and omens. And that leads me to our second duty: to carefully monitor the affairs of the mortal world.”
He motioned to the large table positioned in the center of the room and under the orrery. Upon its surface was etched a map of the world, and upon this map stood scale models of landmarks such as cities, towns, forests, and mountains.
As the others approached the table and studied the intrinsically-crafted scale model of the world, they each spotted the location of their kingdoms, each containing equally-intrinsic scale models of buildings and castles. Maria and Susan saw as their castle loomed over the tallest hill of Hermosa Visa. Rapunzel and Eugene spotted Corona, and Rapunzel could even spy the tower in the forest where she spent 18 years of her life. Aurora and Phillip spotted Talia. Aurora even saw the small cottage near the outskirts of the forest where the good fairies hid her as Briar Rose for 16 years, while Phillip could see the dark castle atop Fright Mountain where Maleficent once reigned.
“From our observatory,” Yen Sid said, “We keep a watchful eye on the mortal world. Though we do our best not to interfere in mortal affairs, we will intervene if necessary.”
Merlin gestured to a golden telescope set on the table’s edge. “See for yourself.”
The telescope was set upon a moveable apparatus, which in turn was set upon a rail surrounding the table. Using this apparatus, the telescope could be freely moved and positioned near any location on the map.
Maria volunteered to look through it. She leaned toward it, aimed it in the direction of Hermosa Vista, and peered into it with one eye. She could see an aerial view of her kingdom, almost as if she were gazing down at it from the sky above. As Merlin adjusted the lens, she could see closer and closer, to the point where she saw little people scurrying to and fro in the village. She aimed the telescope at the castle, and as Merlin further adjusted the lens, she could see the building come closer and closer into view. Soon she saw her father taking a sip of sangria through an open window.
“¡Fantástico!” she exclaimed. “I can see everything through this, even my papa!”
Each of the other royals took turns using the telescope to gaze upon their kingdoms. Rapunzel could see Pascal sleeping upon the banister of her balcony. Eugene could see the boys enjoying a rowdy time at the Snuggly Duckling. And Aurora and Phillip could see their fathers toasting each other over dinner.
“Nice!” Eugene lifted his eyes from the lens. “Though I have a feeling you all brought us here to do more than simply show us your cool stuff.”
“Indeed.” Yen Sid nodded. “We here at the Guild study the heavens above in search of premonitions of the future, and we study the earth below to monitor the current affairs of the present. Currently, there is a most pressing matter that will affect both your present and your future. But to better understand it, we must first divulge upon your past.”
Merlin raised a finger. “Not to worry. This won’t take very long.”
Each magic user drew their wands and aimed them at the center of the table. With a flick of their wrists, they each shone a beam of light; and as each beam intersected each other, they produced a swirling vortex of sparkling particles, in which appeared visions of past events that played out as Yen Sid told the following story:
“Thousands of years ago, a great evil threatened to plunge the mortal world into darkness. This great evil arose from the dark abyss, and with it, unleashed a legion of monsters, demons, and every other evil being that lurks within the darkest recesses of our nightmares. They mounted a brutal assault upon every land and kingdom, burning down forests, turning rivers and springs to blood, and slaughtering countless innocents.
“Ten kings from ten kingdoms banded together to drive back the evil horde and their dark master back into the abyss from whence they came. With their magic, the ten kings created a magical seal of protection, constraining the dark forces of the abyss and preventing them from ever harming the mortal world again.
“For countless generations, this magical seal has remained as strong as the bond among the ten kingdoms whose monarchs first forged it. For many years, the kingdoms lived alongside each other in peace and harmony. However, as time passed, the bond among them weakened. Each kingdom drifted apart from the others, and tensions among them rose. As such, the kingdoms no longer maintain the same bond they once shared. Such political tension and infighting have weakened the magical seal, and now the great evil that was once vanquished remains at risk of arising once more.”
Susan scratched her head. “So let me get this straight: there was a great evil that tried to take over the world. Ten kings sealed that evil away with magic. And their magic seal kept the evil away because their kingdoms got along. But now that the kingdoms no longer get along, their magic spell is fading and the evil is coming back?”
Merlin clapped his hands. “Bravo, child. An excellent summary. You paid close attention.”
Eugene raised a finger. “So if the magic keeping the big bad away was created by ten kings, does that mean we have to bring them back so they can recreate the spell?”
Rapunzel raised an eyebrow. “Eh, I think that’s going to be difficult, Eugene, considering those kings lived thousands of years ago. So I don’t think they’re around anymore.”
“Correct.” Yen Sid nodded. “If we are to keep this great evil at bay, we must bring together ten monarchs from ten kingdoms to create a new spell, and with it, a new magical seal of protection.”
“Well, that doesn’t seem hard,” Phillip proudly gesticulated to the others. “We have six royals standing right here. We only need four more to complete the spell.”
Aurora shook her head. “But the spell requires royals from ten kingdoms, and we only have three kingdoms present here.”
Merlin nodded. “And that is why we have gathered you all here today. We need you all to venture forth and find royals from ten kingdoms. Three of you each come from three kingdoms, so we will only require seven royals more to complete the spell.”
“Well,” Maria interjected, scratching her chin. “The last spell was created by ten kings. So perhaps we should maintain a similar motif. How about ten princesses?”
Rapunzel giggled. “That’s an excellent idea.”
Aurora nodded with a smile. “Agreed.”
“I suggest you all make haste,” Yen Sid said. “The spell’s power has deteriorated over the ages, and it continues to wane even more. If the spell completely weakens, then the great evil will arise once more and all the world will be plunged into darkness.”
The six royals stood around the table and gazed at the map below. They carefully studied the layout of the various kingdoms and their proximity to their own.
“We’ll have to travel to six other kingdoms and recruit each of their princesses,” Aurora stated. “The problem is, traveling to each of them will take a long time if we all travel together, and time is something we don’t have.”
Phillip interjected. “Our best course of action will be for each of us to visit these kingdoms individually. That way, we can cut down on our time and reach these other princesses sooner.”
The others agreed this was the best plan. Each royal couple would visit several kingdoms on their own. The only question remained as to which kingdoms each couple would visit. After a brief deliberation and a quick study of the map, the three couples decided to visit the kingdoms closest to their own.
Aurora and Phillip would visit Perrault, the kingdom of the shimmering palace of dreams, and Grimmoak, the kingdom of vast woodlands, tall mountains, and countless mines where a million diamonds shine.
Rapunzel and Eugene would visit Beaumont, the kingdom of the palace whose beauty was hidden within a beastly forest; Andersburg, the kingdom by the sea; and Arendelle, the northern kingdom at the foot of the icy mountains.
Finally, Maria and Susan would visit the Kingdom of Agrabah, the kingdom amidst the burning desert sands, and the Dragon Empire, an eastern kingdom hidden in the bamboo forests.
“Well that certainly settles the question of where to go,” Maria said. “But now we have another problem. With everyone going their separate ways, it will be impossible for us to check and see how each of us are doing with our tasks.”
“You got a point, girl.” Susan nodded.” If only there was a convenient way for us all to keep in contact with one another. That way we could better coordinate our plans.”
Aurora raised a finger to her lip as she pondered to herself. “Perhaps we could correspond using messengers.”
Phillip shook his head. “It would be impossible for them to track our every location. Even if they could, it would still take them too long to travel back and forth among us.”
Rapunzel scratched her head. “Maybe we can use carrier pigeons.”
Eugene shrugged. “Eh, same problem. No idea where to go, and a long time for them to get there.”
Maria sighed. “This mission is too important for us not to know what everyone else is doing. If we can’t rely on human or pigeon messengers, how else could we communicate?”
Merlin raised his wand. “I’m glad you asked. It just so happens that I’ve developed something new that could be of great use to you all. Here. Allow me to demonstrate.”
With a flick of his wrist, a small sparkling ball of light appeared over the chests of each of the six royals. Upon fading away, each light revealed a small metal case hanging from necklaces around their necks. Each royal reached for their case, each one the size of their own hands. Each lifted their case closer to their face to inspect it, each flipping them open to reveal—
“A mirror?” Maria asked.
She glanced into her mirror and saw her reflection.
Eugene straightened his hair and coyly smiled as he gazed into his own.
“Not bad!” he said, admiring his reflection. “Can’t say they won’t come in handy.”
“Those are not just ordinary mirrors,” Merlin said. “They are magic mirrors.”
Rapunzel glanced up from studying her reflection and gazed curiously at Merlin. “Magic mirrors?”
Merlin nodded. “Yes, of course. These mirrors will allow you to communicate with one another, especially over long distances. All you have to do is tap on the glass and ask for the person you wish to talk to.” He pointed to Maria. “Princess, I’ll let you demonstrate. Tap on the mirror and say ‘let me speak with Aurora.’ Go on. Try it out.”
Maria did as she was told. She tapped her mirror. Upon touching it with her fingertips, ripples flowed across the glass-like ripples upon a water’s surface.
“Let me speak with Aurora.”
Her mirror began glowing pink. Aurora soon saw her mirror glowing pink with a soft musical melody emanating from it. This startled her.
Merlin pointed to her. “Go ahead, princess. Tap the glass and answer the call.”
Aurora did as she was told. She tapped her mirror. Her fingertips likewise sent ripples flowing across her glass. The pink light faded away, the music stopped, and the ripples quickly revealed the image of Maria where Aurora’s reflection would otherwise be.
Within her mirror, Maria could see Aurora’s image where her reflection would have been. Each princess gazed upon the face of the other as they looked in their mirrors.
“Aurora!” Maria exclaimed. “I can see you!”
“And I can see you!” Aurora answered. “And hear you, as well! It’s as if we were speaking to each other in person.”
Merlin clapped his hands. “Very good. Now, to end your call, tap the mirror once more.”
Maria did just that. Once more, ripples were sent through her glass, and Aurora’s image vanished. Once the ripples ceased, Maria could only see her reflection.
“These magic mirrors will allow you to keep in contact with each other. As long as someone else has their magic mirror, all you need to do is use your own to reach out and touch them.”
Rapunzel closed the case to her mirror. “These are very useful gifts, Merlin. They’ll certainly come in handy on our journey. Thank you very much.”
Merlin bowed. “You’re very welcome. You can do much more with these magic mirrors than talk with one another. I’ve programmed them with several other useful apps.”
Eugene raised an eyebrow. “Apps? What’s an app? Are they like apples?”
“No, no, my lad.” Merlin chuckled and shook his head. “They’re just special things your mirrors can do. I’ll explain more about them later on.” He turned to face you. “I’m sure the people reading this already know what an app is.”
“Oh, okay.” Eugene nodded, before asking, “What?”
Yen Sid waved his arms at them. “Time is of the essence. We must return you all to Hermosa Vista. You all have long and important journeys ahead of you, and you must make the necessary preparations.”
The princesses curtseyed, and the princes bowed.
“Thank you, noble Yen Sid,” Maria replied. “We will do our best.”
Yen Sid nodded. “Good. Now, Godspeed!”
With a wave of his arm, the six royals disappeared in a flash of light.